Cooking for One

Do you live alone and struggle to come up with meal ideas? It is completely understandable if you are wanting to have just a small portion of something you’re in the mood for (and not have to feel pressured to eat it the next 4 nights so it doesn’t go to waste). However, this is much easier said than done. One barrier you may run into is having your fresh ingredients go bad in a short time. Or you may lack some simple cooking techniques in order to whip up something tasty with the supplies you already have at home. Don’t worry, though! You aren’t alone. According the United States Census Bureau, 29% of adults in the United States live alone. You may also live with others but just prefer to eat other foods than them. Either way, it’s definitely doable to cook meals from scratch for just one person and I attached 3 recipes below and a cooking demo video!

Here are some tips to consider next time you are cooking for one!

  1. Try a meal delivery service: There are so many companies that cater to people who enjoy cooking but don’t want bulk ingredients. Companies such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Freshly come to the top of my mind, but the market is getting competitive now. If you are a senior on Medicare or Medicaid, you may qualify for free meals that are customized to fit your nutrition needs through Mom’s Meals as well!
  2. Frozen meals: Many patients that I work with turn to frozen TV dinners as an easy alternative. The only downside to these options is that they tend to be packed with sodium, which may especially be an issue if you have any heart issues. If you do prefer this option, my tip is to find meals with less than 600 mg of sodium.
  3. Batch cook: If you like planning ahead and having healthy meals you can just reheat at home, then meal prepping may be an option for you. My tip here is to think of recipes that freeze well, so that if you want to eat leftovers, you have a variety of options and don’t get burnt out. I also suggest balancing meals so that you have some sort of vegetable, protein, and starch. Sometimes having frozen microwavable vegetables on hand and reheating your starch and protein is a good way to have easy, reheatable meals.

Try one of these three recipes the next time you are having a hard time deciding what to cook for a meal!



Jordan Chen, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with Manhattan Nutrition Clinic.

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